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What gifts to take? Presents customs in Poland.


ZIMMY 6 | 1,601
28 Apr 2011 #91
"Mothers Day" is coming up and I'm certain that my current girlfriend will totally appreciate the mop and bucket I bought her. Women appreciate gifts they can use.
Jadzaluk - | 2
26 Apr 2013 #92
Merged: Gifts to Bring to Poland

I am returning to Poland, 38 years later. My god daughter have three children and I want to bring them a present from the US.
There is a girl, 17, a brother, 13 and a little girl and boy 3 and 2.
They live outside Krakow in a small town.
I would appreciate any suggestions!
Jackie Dzaluk
Harry
26 Apr 2013 #93
You'll get better replies if you give ball-park figures for the cost of each gift.
Jadzaluk - | 2
26 Apr 2013 #94
Fair enought! Say up to $50... The little kids less...
DominicB - | 2,709
28 Apr 2013 #95
The cost of the gift isn't that significant for children. Uniqueness is. Had a wonderful time with my teen students roasting marshmallows that my mom sent me from the States. A new and strange experience for Poles. Strike-anywhere kitchen matches also made a huge impression; they don't exist in Europe. They've seen them used in films, though, and they are curious about them. I gave maple syrup to a teen that I was mentoring for Christmas, and he was super thrilled. We made AMERICAN pancakes together (also totally unknown in Poland) and had a great time. For the little boy, try a propeller beanie. Totally unknown in Poland. Root beer is something that's totally unavailable here, and a new experience for Poles. Beef jerky is also something novel, as is black licorice (but this gets a very mixed response). Macadamia nuts and nigger toes are totally unknown here, too. Hershey's kisses are great for the kids.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,845
28 Apr 2013 #96
Hershey's kisses are great for the kids.

hershey's kisses taste like vomit to European taste buds and would put kids off American stuff for good.
how about a real baseball jacket or mitt, something like that for the teenagers?
the little kids will be more interested in the box the stuff comes in, but how about shipping them a radio flyer?
Paulina 10 | 1,809
28 Apr 2013 #97
The cost of the gift isn't that significant for children. Uniqueness is.

+1

Had a wonderful time with my teen students roasting marshmallows that my mom sent me from the States. A new and strange experience for Poles.

Roasting marshmallows - yes, that's something Poles don't usually do ;) But you can buy marshmallows in Poland so that wouldn't be a very unique gift, I guess.

However, some American brand of sweets that isn't available in Poland/Europe would be nice.

hershey's kisses taste like vomit to European taste buds and would put kids off American stuff for good.

Whaaaaat... Why "like vomit"? I've heard they're tasty... *disappointed* lol
DominicB - | 2,709
28 Apr 2013 #98
But you can buy marshmallows in Poland.

The ones you can get in Poland are far inferior to the American ones. Bought a pack once out of curiosity and the ended up in the trash. I don't think they would be suitable for roasting.

hershey's kisses taste like vomit to European taste buds and would put kids off American stuff for good.

Baloney.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,845
28 Apr 2013 #99
Baloney.

nope sorry it is true, that quality of choc would not even be classified as 'cooking chocolate' in Europe,
i will never forget being given a bag of them as a gift from the states and my utter disbelief on tasting them....
ooh how exciting i just googled 'hersheys kisses taste like....' and 'sick' came right up!!
I rest my case!
Harry
28 Apr 2013 #100
how about a real baseball jacket or mitt, something like that for the teenagers?

A baseball mitt would be fairly useless, given how hard it is to get and keep a baseball bat round these parts.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,845
28 Apr 2013 #101
ah yeh a bat to go with it...or would that be classified as an offensive weapon in transit? not as offensive as the hersheys kisses anyway....
Paulina 10 | 1,809
28 Apr 2013 #102
The ones you can get in Poland are far inferior to the American ones. Bought a pack once out of curiosity and the ended up in the trash. I don't think they would be suitable for roasting.

Really? I didn't know that lol So what's the difference?

Maybe they should sell them in Europe as vomit-flavoured sweets then, like in Harry Potter lol
But they can't be worse than Japanese sweets I've tasted (some kind of jelly thingies) - I don't think I've ever eaten anything more horrible lol

not as offensive as the hersheys kisses anyway....

Oh dear... lol
DominicB - | 2,709
28 Apr 2013 #103
Really? I didn't know that lol So what's the difference?

Yes, really. There's no comparison. Like a Rolex and a fake "Rolex". The ones I had in Poland were just plain awful. The taste and texture were completely off, and it's obvious that whoever designed them had never seen, held or tasted a real marshmallow in their life, and was working solely off of a written description. They weren't even good enough to put in cocoa. If you have a friend in the States or Canada, ask them to send you some, and you'll see the difference for yourself.
Paulina 10 | 1,809
28 Apr 2013 #104
Huh, that's interesting. Thanks for the explanation :)
And what is the difference in taste? Those that can be bought in Poland are sweeter or maybe taste of something else? Sorry for being so inquisitive but I'm curious and I won't probably have a chance to find out by myself :)
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Apr 2013 #105
And what is the difference in taste? Those that can be bought in Poland are sweeter or maybe taste of something else?

Yes, they do taste of something else. Something that I don't expect or want when I bite into a marshmallow. And the texture was all wrong, too. I rarely throw food away, but those ended up in the can pdq. They tasted like my LEAST favorite candy in the whole world, circus peanuts (I get sick just looking at them): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circus_peanuts

Sorry, but you're never going to figure out what a real American marshmallow tastes and feels like without actually trying one. You'll just have to take my word for it that the difference is enormous.
Paulina 10 | 1,809
29 Apr 2013 #106
Sorry, but you're never going to figure out what a real American marshmallow tastes and feels like without actually trying one.

Ah well... I'll have to learn to live with that, I guess ;)

You'll just have to take my word for it that the difference is enormous.

Then I suppose bringing real American marshmallows to Poland as a gift wouldn't be such a bad idea after all :)))
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Apr 2013 #107
Also, I read the talk page to the Wikipedia article on circus peanuts. Someone commented: "should the article include a mention of how universaly hated these things are?" Never a truer word has been spoken. I suspect that the main buyers are elderly women who want to not-so-subtily show their grandchildren, nieces and nephews how much they really despise them.
Rysavy 10 | 308
29 Apr 2013 #108
Aww..I like circus peanuts..but they are NOT marshmallows. And compared to fine chocolates or common EU chocolates..Hershey's shall not pass.

Butter brickle is more "american". Specially pecan or peanut. Or licorices. Reeces cups. bitOhoney. Sweet cornbread mix? Divinity. Fudge. moon Pies. Twinkies. Nothing too perishable or carbonated would pass muster for flight. Salsa. Jalepeno Lollipop.

Iconic still avaialble toys:
Tonka trucks(real ones) and green army men. Slinky. Hula hoop.Etch A sketch. Lincoln logs. Shrinky dinks.
Maybe a iconic board game like Trouble, Monopoly. Nerf stuff-football-dart board-etc.

Item hard to find by web shop.
Easter Egg coloring kit.
Maybe traditional Trinkets from your local indian tribe? esp Turqouise jewlery.. pretty beaded choker or hair accessories. Coonskin cap. Turkey Feathers;
Coins? maybe a 50 states set of quarters. Shoes that are skates(my kids and I all have pairs).
A mountain board (large all terrain skateboard?) or Torx scooter? An American Football -for the kick of it. Or other sport.
Are they musically inclined? A toy/youth banjo? (even TRU carries such thing in certain regions). Marachas. Kazoo. Autoharp or dulcimer. Toy youth versions stay in the price range you mentioned.

A teen girl might like something displayable on a shelf or apparel like Tshirt from Abercrombie, or other iconic brand store. Mickey mouse tshirt. Or something tasteful and iconic from Hot Topic/Spencers (ie I have Flinstone "Pebble Yell Tour" babydoll T ). A retro mood ring.

Teen guy might like something edgy like one of our lovely large insects (scorpion-tarantulas-ect) in plexiglass paperweight. Poland barely has any poisonous anything.

Thats all I can think of in unique.Kids are funny sometimes...
Other than namesakes and astrology ; My older son collected Ikea horses and Rubber Duckies (and had one chosen himself Nutcraker Barbie Christie he kept on shelf.. <_<) # My daughter liked ballerina animals, odd monsters /aliens

My youngest Hot wheels and anything with a chicken on it.
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Apr 2013 #109
If you like circus peanuts, you're one of a select few. Read this:

straightdope.com/columns/read/1159/does-anybody-actually-like-circus-peanuts

Kids don't seem to mind Hershey's kisses. My mom always sends a bunch and I have no problem getting rid of them with my teenage students. Never heard any complaints.

I'd be very wary of getting a kid an expensive gift unless I knew darn well sure that it will be appreciated. I've been burnt too many times on this. I, too, considered a coonskin hat or cowboy hat for the teenage boy, but had second thoughts about it. An American football seems more likely to be appreciated, though I would go with a cheap nerf one unless I was very sure that a real one would be appreciated. The mood ring is likely to be appreciated, too.

Sometimes, the best gifts don't cost anything at all, or very little. A great gift for a teen boy is an old US licence plate. I used my old Indiana plate to bind some papers together for shipping, and later gave it to a teen student. He was thrilled, and it's still hanging front and center over his bed. Another student was thrilled with a stupid four-color ink pen.

Punk sticks are a great idea, too. The practice is totally unknown in Poland, and kids are fascinated by it.

I've learned that a good experience is appreciated more by kids than an expensive gift. Marshmallow roasting is a good example. Making typical American foods like pancakes (extremely different from the Polish version), sweet yellow cornbread, baked beans, chili, REAL hamburgers (Poles don't have the slightest clue what these are, and are always pleasantly surprised when they actually see and eat one), chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake, brownies, AMERICAN cheesecake (very different from the Polish version), American pies, even rivel soup; I've cooked all of these together with my friends and students here in Poland, and we all had a great time. Ingredients for all of these are readily available in Poland except for maple syrup, which is prohibitively expensive here. Oh, and mollases, which is completely unavailable. So you don't really have to bring anything much; just buy the ingredients here. Make sure to leave detailed instructions so that they can make them again whenever they want.

Bringing the boy a simple deck of cards (with bikini models or cars or dinosaurs or something like that) and teaching him how to play poker is a great gift, too. I've had a lot of fun teaching this to my young students.

Teaching them some stupid trick like the dairy farmer's handshake can be a fun experience. (First person interlocks fingers and turns palms outward, thumbs pointing to the floor. Second person tugs on the thumbs as if milking a cow). There's lot of stupid little things like that that kids are amused by and get a lot of milage from.

Had tons of fun with my friends' young kids pitching pennies. Bring some American and Canadian pennies along for "authenticity".

Be careful with hot sauces and jalepenos and such. They MAY be a big hit, but more likely they will be way to spicy for Polish tastes, which tend strongly toward the VERY, VERY bland. Besides, they are readily available in Poland, although I often wonder who buys them.

Same with clothing. There's nothing that you can get in America that you can't easily get here. Period. That includes Mickie Mouse shirts and such. Kids are notoriously difficult to predict when it comes to clothes, and even more difficult to impress.

This is especially true for toys. There is a wide selection of just about everything here, including such iconic American toys like slinkies, hula hoops and board games. Lincoln logs are a rare exception, although they may not be right for the ages of the kids mentioned. The green army men will be appreciated, too.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,845
29 Apr 2013 #110
Kids don't seem to mind Hershey's kisses. My mom always sends a bunch and I have no problem getting rid of them with my teenage students. Never heard any complaints.

it is because they are being polite....nobody could possibly like ersatz "chocolate" with 11 per cent cocoa solids, tasting of vomit, actually made with sour milk....trust me your students just don't want to be rude.

I bet your mom sends them over cos she thinks that poor "Eastern Europeans" don't have anything that nice....lol....
DominicB - | 2,709
29 Apr 2013 #111
Running for Mr. Obnoxious of the year? Well, you've got my vote.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,845
29 Apr 2013 #112
Mrs. Obnoxious to you thanks - see the little gender icon? ...personally I find your superior attitude about american goods and pernicious foodstuffs obnoxious but there you go.
Mickeydee01
21 Apr 2014 #113
Merged: Suitable presents to take when visiting someone for first time (friend of a friend)

Hi,

hoping someone can give me an idea of suitable gifts to take when visiting. All suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

Mickeydee
kj99 8 | 54
21 Apr 2014 #114
just take yourself
gucio
22 Apr 2014 #115
I would recommend nutri bullet. Not expensive, but a fairly new idea. They may like making new fruit shakes.
PolishVisiting
3 Sep 2016 #116
Merged: What kind of gifts should I bring to my family in Poland?

I am looking for gifts for young men (cousins) in their 20's
uncle in his 50's
Babcia in her 80's
aunts in their 50's

I would love your suggestions. Thank you!
Becoming dad 2 | 23
19 Jan 2018 #117
Merged:

What Gifts Can I Buy for My Wife's Parents



I will be meeting my Polish in-laws next month for the first time and I have no clue what to buy them as gifts. Where I come from, it's just wines, fruits or money in envelopes but a lot of Nigerian people are materialistic. Her parents are amazing people and although I don't speak Polish, they communicated with me via my wife as the translator.

I asked my wife what they would love as gifts and she said I shouldn't buy anything and should save money because we are expecting a baby. However, I can't go empty handed. First impression counts I think. Her parents smoke so I was thinking a roll each of cigarettes but that doesn't seem right. Any ideas will be appreciated.
mafketis 29 | 9,511
19 Jan 2018 #118
You can't go wrong wtih sex toys!!!!!! Seriously, bring small symbolic gifts, flowers or chocolates for her, a bottle of nice brandy for him, that sort of thing. They won't expect more (Poland's never been an extravagent gift country) and should appreciate that you're trying to please them.
Becoming dad 2 | 23
19 Jan 2018 #119
Lol of course, hey Dad, I bought you a Nigerian sexdoll, she's got the Nigerian booty.

Chocolates in Nigeria are imported, flowers will die in transit but brandy sounds good. Merging my thread on here helps. Thanks
jon357 67 | 16,830
19 Jan 2018 #120
wines,

No alcohol, no cigarettes. That wouldn't go down well, especially if it's the first time you've met them. Chocolates are usually well-received - get them at duty-free when you're travelling. That or a framed picture.


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